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Evidence in a Car Accident Case

July 31, 2023

Washington is not a no-fault car accident state. Instead, in Washington it matters who caused a car accident. The person at fault in the accident is responsible for damages under the state’s comparative fault insurance laws. This law allows an injury victim to recover damages even if they were partly at fault in an accident, but the amount they recover is reduced by their percentage of fault.

When you’ve been injured in a car accident in Washington and the other driver was at fault, or mostly at fault, the burden lies on you to present proof through a preponderance of the evidence of the other driver’s negligence or recklessness behind the wheel. Often, it takes an experienced Seattle car accident attorney familiar with Washington’s requirements to investigate all aspects of a car accident case in order to gather evidence to prove fault. An insurance company requires proof of fault in order to pay out on a claim. In some cases, you’ll need to prove fault in a courtroom if the claim becomes a lawsuit.

Evidence in a Car Accident Case

What Evidence Do I Need to Prove Another Driver At Fault in a Car Accident?

When you’ve been injured in a preventable car accident due to another driver’s fault, your attorney will typically gather evidence including:

  • The police report
  • Traffic camera footage, dash cam video, or surveillance video
  • Photos of the accident scene
  • Eyewitness testimony
  • Photos of the vehicles
  • Testimony from accident reconstruction experts if needed

Often, in order to recover damages related to any injuries you’ve suffered in an accident, evidence will also include:

  • Your medical report listing your injuries and their related expenses
  • A statement from your employer or recent pay stubs or tax forms to prove your lost income due to the injury
  • Evidence from medical professionals about your level of pain and suffering

Once you as the plaintiff in the case (the injury victim) can prove through the preponderance of evidence that the other driver caused the accident you can gather the evidence to show legal liability in order to compel an insurance provider for the party at fault to cover your damages. Otherwise, your attorney can file a lawsuit within Washinton’s 3-year statute of limitations for personal injury claims. A lawsuit is only necessary when an insurance provider practices bad-faith insurance policies and refuses to pay out on a valid claim.

Demonstrating Liability in Washington Car Accident Cases

Gathering evidence to prove fault in a car accident serves to meet the state’s requirement for showing liability on the part of the negligent or reckless party who caused the accident. Proving liability requires demonstrating the following through the evidence:

  • That the party at fault owed a duty of reasonable care to prevent injury to others on the road
  • That they breached this duty by acting negligently or recklessly behind the wheel
  • That the negligent breach of duty directly caused your injury
  • That you’ve suffered real damages from the injury such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering

Because insurance companies exist to make profits, they don’t always happily write out checks. Instead, they may try to assign you a percentage of the blame for the accident in order to reduce the amount of damages you can recover. That’s why it’s important to seek representation from an experienced personal injury attorney in Seattle, Washington who can investigate the evidence in your case and prove liability on the part of the driver at fault.

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